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Bob Lieken's Pilates Standard Symposium

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Join Us for workshops, workouts and lectures led by ten of Bob's most dedicated teachers!

September 29-October 1

Meet Your Instructors

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Gina Papalia

Reformer on the Barrel

Gina Papalia - Studio Owner, Second Generation Teacher & The Pilates Standard Teacher Trainer lives in New York City with her husband and teenagers. Gina was introduced to Pilates at college while she was dancing at SUNY Purchase. She fell in love with Pilates and began her certification training in January of 1995, under Romana Kryzanowska, Bob Liekens, and Carol Dodge Baker after she graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Fine Arts and Dance. Then, she moved to New York City, danced most of her career with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, while completing her Pilates training at Drago’s with Romana and The Pilates Studio with Bob. After four years of working in the Pilates Community, Gina opened Grasshopper Pilates Nyc in 2000. Since the beginning, Gina has embraced each client individually and unconditionally, balancing a serious approach with a fun, friendly attitude. Gina stays true to Classical Pilates and teaches the process logically to her students, so they understand what they are doing and can apply it to anything in their daily life. She challenges each client, working on their weaknesses and imbalances while acknowledging their strengths and accomplishments. Gina continues her training by taking sessions bi-weekly with Cary Regan and Phoebe Higgins in NYC, working with peers in the Pilates community, and attending workshops with others to broaden her knowledge of the Pilates Method and the body. Gina believes we should never stop learning. Gina is knowledgeable about the anatomy, movement, and musculature of the human body. Gina is LEVEL 2 certified in the Stecco Facia Manipulation (FM) and has studied anatomy with Irene Dowd. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with her clients to help them learn more about their bodies. This way, clients can work more efficiently. Gina makes Pilates a pleasurable learning experience that is simple, thorough, and effective. Gina is Regional Director and Teacher Trainer for The Pilates Standard (TPS), teaches on Pilatesology.com, PMA Certified. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, in several issues of Pilates Style Magazine, the New York Times, Point, Self, and Vogue. Gina’s very excited about her next adventure as a (TPS) The Pilates Standard Teacher Trainer. Having worked closely with Bob Liekens for 23 years, he handpicked Gina to help lead the teacher training program for TPS in the United States. The first training started in January 2021. She is excited to work with TPS to share her love and knowledge of the Classical Pilates that was mentored and nurtured to her by Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens. Gina is the first teacher in the US to be certified in the BALLance Method created by Dr. Tanja Kühne. This is a new system created to balance and promote a healthy spine with the use of BALLance. Events starting May 2022. Teacher Training Summer 2022 TDB. More to come about the BALLance Method soon!

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Gina Papalia

Reformer on the Barrel

Gina Papalia - Studio Owner, Second Generation Teacher & The Pilates Standard Teacher Trainer lives in New York City with her husband and teenagers. Gina was introduced to Pilates at college while she was dancing at SUNY Purchase. She fell in love with Pilates and began her certification training in January of 1995, under Romana Kryzanowska, Bob Liekens, and Carol Dodge Baker after she graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Fine Arts and Dance. Then, she moved to New York City, danced most of her career with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, while completing her Pilates training at Drago’s with Romana and The Pilates Studio with Bob. After four years of working in the Pilates Community, Gina opened Grasshopper Pilates Nyc in 2000. Since the beginning, Gina has embraced each client individually and unconditionally, balancing a serious approach with a fun, friendly attitude. Gina stays true to Classical Pilates and teaches the process logically to her students, so they understand what they are doing and can apply it to anything in their daily life. She challenges each client, working on their weaknesses and imbalances while acknowledging their strengths and accomplishments. Gina continues her training by taking sessions bi-weekly with Cary Regan and Phoebe Higgins in NYC, working with peers in the Pilates community, and attending workshops with others to broaden her knowledge of the Pilates Method and the body. Gina believes we should never stop learning. Gina is knowledgeable about the anatomy, movement, and musculature of the human body. Gina is LEVEL 2 certified in the Stecco Facia Manipulation (FM) and has studied anatomy with Irene Dowd. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with her clients to help them learn more about their bodies. This way, clients can work more efficiently. Gina makes Pilates a pleasurable learning experience that is simple, thorough, and effective. Gina is Regional Director and Teacher Trainer for The Pilates Standard (TPS), teaches on Pilatesology.com, PMA Certified. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, in several issues of Pilates Style Magazine, the New York Times, Point, Self, and Vogue. Gina’s very excited about her next adventure as a (TPS) The Pilates Standard Teacher Trainer. Having worked closely with Bob Liekens for 23 years, he handpicked Gina to help lead the teacher training program for TPS in the United States. The first training started in January 2021. She is excited to work with TPS to share her love and knowledge of the Classical Pilates that was mentored and nurtured to her by Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens. Gina is the first teacher in the US to be certified in the BALLance Method created by Dr. Tanja Kühne. This is a new system created to balance and promote a healthy spine with the use of BALLance. Events starting May 2022. Teacher Training Summer 2022 TDB. More to come about the BALLance Method soon!

Phoebe Higgins

Pilates for Scoliosis 

Phoebe Higgins, PMA Gold Certified, studied and performed with the School of American Ballet, Simonson technique of Jazz Dance, Kevin Wynn Collection, among others. From 1967-68 Phoebe also attended ballet classes taught by Romana Kryzanowska, who also taught at the Pilates Studio. Phoebe was reintroduced to Romana in 1976 at SUNY Purchase and began studying the Pilates Method to help strengthen a spine weakened by scoliosis. In 1980 Phoebe went to work at the Pilates Studio under Romana’s guidance. When that studio closed in 1989 she began work with Dr. Howard Sichel in his chiropractic office. That work evolved into Power Pilates. In 1998 and 2005 respectfully, Phoebe was asked by the School of American Ballet and Ballet Academy East to organize a programs for their teenage professionally geared students. The success of these programs is evident in the infrequency of injuries and dancers’ continued strength. 2006, Phoebe left Power Pilates and became a freelancer for both individual sessions and workshops. With the international recognition of the work of Joseph Pilates ever widening, Phoebe would like to see everyone taking sessions and making the world a better place through the freedom of the body.

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Bonnie Grove

Footwork & Standing Exercises

Bonnie Grove is a NCPT® Certified Pilates Teacher (formerly PMA) and has been extensively trained and certified by Power Pilates as a Senior Teacher, and was a Teacher Trainer with Power Pilates for 10 years. She has taught numerous mat and comprehensive training programs, as well as continuing education workshops. She has trained, mentored and certified teachers throughout the East Coast (Maryland, DC, Virginia, New York), as well as certified teachers in Seoul, South Korea. In 2018, Bonnie completed Bob Liekens' LEAP (Leading Education Advancement Program) and is a certified Teacher Trainer for his company, The Pilates Standard (TPS). B Bonnie is currently teaching continuing education workshops for TPS virtually. She also teaches virtual private, semi-private, and group class lessons. She has an expert eye to detail and precision, all with a healthy dose of compassion and positive energy. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she enjoys hiking in the beauty of the Sonoran desert.

Janet Tech

Pilates Technique

My attentive adherence to the Classical Method Pilates sets me apart from the rest. My 2nd generation apprenticeship under Romana Kryzanowska and Romana's Pilates NY certification 2001, as well as my Teacher Training Certification for the Pilates Standard under founder Bob Liekens LEAP Program (Leading Education Advancement Program) 2018, and my early foundation and practical knowledge of anatomy and human movement coupled with my background in strength training through my extensive Bodybuilding career, all these paths I have taken give me a unique view of the human body and and the solutions to heal the the body through precise movement.

Susan Smith Burns

Mat with Rare Props

Susan Smith Burns was introduced to Pilates in 1999 while finishing her Master of Science in Health Fitness Management at American University. She immediately fell in love with how Pilates made her feel, and how it complemented all of her other activities. She completed her initial Pilates Mat certification in 2000 with The PhysicalMind Institute and quickly followed it with their Pilates apparatus certification. Opportunity came knocking sooner than planned, and she opened balance, Your Pilates, Yoga, & Gyrotonic Studio in the Washington DC area in 2001 and continues to lead the studio today. Susan joined the classical Pilates world and first met Bob Liekens, founder of The Pilates Standard (TPS), when she completed her comprehensive certification with Power Pilates in 2005, then became a Teacher Trainer for that organization in 2010. She was invited by Bob to take his inaugural LEAP (Leading Education Advancement Program) 9-month training program in 2018 and was thrilled to subsequently join TPS as a Teacher Trainer in 2019. She offers teacher training and continuing education for TPS in the greater Washington, DC area.

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Tricia O'Donnell

Mini Magic Circle, Reformer on the Cadillac

Tricia O’Donnell, a former soloist with Pennsylvania Ballet and graduate of the School of American Ballet, was certified by Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens in 1997 through Pilates inc. in NYC. In 2000, she opened Pilates in Port, located on Long Island, NY. She has been privileged to train dancers, college athletes, two Olympic Figure skaters, as well as the general population. In 2011, she became an adjunct professor at Adelphi University for the dance department, helping the dancers incorporate the Pilates method into their dance. For over 21 years, Tricia was a student and friend of Bob Liekens. Through Bob’s invitation, she participated in The Pilates Standard’s LEAP program in October 2018, two weeks before Bob passed away. She is privileged to be bringing her 20+ years of experience to the TPS Teacher Training Program and carrying on the legacy of Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens. Tricia is also TPS Regional Director for Long Island.

Nora Gomez

Jumpboard History Endings

Nora Gomez-Dears is the founder and director of Atelier Pilates LLC since 2001. Atelier Pilates was a large Pilates teaching facility in Somerville, MA from 2001-2016. Under Nora's guidance, hundreds of students in the US and abroad received formal training in classical Pilates through Power Pilates and Buff Bones. Atelier Pilates LLC also hosted well-known Pilates instructors through the 15 years in Somerville, MA. ( i.e. Michelle Larsson, Lolita San Miguel, Alex Garcia, Amy Taylor Alperns, Debora Kolwey to name a few.) Atelier Pilates LLC provided the most up-to-date instruction, equipment and licensed Pilates instructors in the New England area. Nora has now brought this level of expertise to Naples, Florida. The "new" Atelier Pilates LLC in N. Naples offers private and semi-private lessons. This private space allows students to work on individual needs without distractions or interruptions. Nora will develop a unique and customized program to enhance the client's level of fitness, coordination, and injury prevention. It is Nora's belief that a customized and supervised workout will help you achieve your personal fitness goals.

Karen Pecarsky

TPS Reformer on the Mat

Karen has been in the fitness industry for over 30 years. In 1998, Karen began her training in the Classical Method of Pilates. She completed 700 Pilates method apprentice hours with Janine Gallatte (a Romana trained teacher). She then pursued the opportunity to continue and advance her studies with Power Pilates earning her certificate of completion as a Comprehensive Teacher. Karen opened her Philadelphia Pilates studio, Urban Front Pilates, in 2007. In 2009, Karen became a Power Pilates Teacher Trainer and Regional Director of education in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the spring of 2011, Karen was promoted to Power Pilates Senior Teacher Trainer. In September 2018, Bob Liekens held his first LEAP training in the United States. Bob had been a friend and mentor to Karen since she began her Pilates journey, and he personally invited Karen to attend the program. Karen attended and successfully completed her LEAP training with Bob Liekens. February 2019, Karen earned her Teacher Trainer credentials with The Pilates Standard (TPS), founded by her mentor, teacher, and friend, Bob Liekens. In addition, Karen studies movement anatomy with the famed Irene Dowd. Karen is a member and certified teacher with National Pilates Certification (formally Pilates Method Alliance) since 2009. Karen continues to focus on her studio, teaching Pilates, and holding teacher trainings with TPS to pass along Bob Lieken’s legacy.

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Alexandra Edwards

Pilates and Aging, Breath

Alexandra Daniels Edwards, NCPT®, is a second generation, classical Pilates instructor and a teacher trainer with The Pilates Standard. While studying dance as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, Alexandra fell in love with the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. After graduation, in 1995, she moved to New York City and studied with master teacher Romana Kryzanowska. She became a certified Pilates instructor in 1996. From 1996 to 2000, she worked at The Pilates Studio of New York and there Alexandra met her mentor, Bob Liekens. The experience of training regularly with him and working alongside him, shaped and molded her as a Pilates instructor. During this time, she also worked with physical therapists to rehabilitate Broadway performers, professional dancers, musicians, and older adults. In this same period she also worked with Jacques D’Amboise and The National Dance Institute, teaching a dance program to students from New York City’s public schools. In 2000, Alexandra returned to Sarah Lawrence College to complete a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance, honing her teaching skills as well as an in-depth anatomical study of the body. In 2002 she moved to Los Angeles, California and taught Pilates at The Sports Club Los Angeles and opened a private practice in Beverly Hills. During her time in Los Angeles, she was introduced to Jay Grimes and had the opportunity to do continuing education with him. In 2012, she moved to Carmel to teach Pilates and dance at Monterey Peninsula College. She opened her Pilates studio, Monterey Bay Contrology, in 2016. In 2018, Alexandra completed Bob Liekens' LEAP program and she is committed carry on his legacy as a teacher trainer with The Pilates Standard. Alexandra continues to share her love of Pilates with a love for dance and currently teaches in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District for ArtSmart’s Dance Around the World, a program for elementary school children started by choreographer and dancer Tandy Beal.

Anna Clark

Pilates for Strength,
The Gymnastic Cadillac

Anna has been in the fitness industry for over 19 years teaching Pilates, Yoga, Kettlebells and Strength Training. She spent her first 7 years in the NYC Pilates community under Susan Moran and Bob Liekens at Power Pilates. The next 5 years she spent in West Africa running her own dance company and private Pilates and Yoga business throughout Senegal. She came back to NYC in 2015 and became a Lead trainer with Real Pilates under Alycea Ungaro. In 2018, Anna and opened her first studio, NeXa, with her late business partner Anne Jameson. Today she is the sole owner of her upper west side studio that offers both Pilates training for clients and Teacher Training for aspiring teachers via Bob Liekens' The Pilates Standard. Nexa also services the community with several different modalities beyond Pilates including Yoga, Kettlebells, TRX, Strength training and more. Anna is passionate about her work and continues to study with teachers from all over the world regularly to expand on her knowledge base and help her clients learn and grow. Anna’s fitness education training includes: Power Pilates teacher training (2004) Dharma Yoga teacher training(2009) National Council on Strength and Fitness certification (2012) National Gymnastics Council (2013) Shanti Yoga training (2014) Real Pilates Lead Trainer (2017) TRX suspension training (2018) Bob Liekens' LEAP Program (2018) PTEC personal training (2018) FAMI anatomy training (2019) The Pilates Standard Teacher Trainer (2020) Strong First KB SFG I & II (2019, 2020 and 2021)

Nora Machione Weiss

Pilates for Scoliosis 

Nora Machione Weiss is the owner of Pilates of Kingston, New York. She is an advocate of the classical method. Formerly a corporate segment producer in New York City, Nora was introduced to Pilates in 1990. After suffering from a knee sprain while skiing it was suggested to help with rehabilitation. She was fortunate enough to be referred to Leah Chaback Katz who had just finished the program with Romana Kryzanowska along with Bob Liekens, Phoebe Higgins and Cary Regan. After studying for more than a decade Nora felt classical Pilates was becoming very blended. She decided to get certified in Pilates to maintain the integrity of the classical method. Of course she knew the person to study with was Bob Liekens. Nora believes Pilates is a way of life. She continues to practice and study with many celebrated teachers. Most recently completing, by invitation, The Pilates Standard LEAP program in September 2018 with Bob Liekens. She is still skiing!

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